Hello again! I'm here this time to offer the first installment of my 'Inkjet & Imaging Tips' column. Iíll be sharing some of my shortcuts, workarounds and other bits of information that I've picked up from either working (or playing) with various digital tools. I've also learned a lot from assorted web sites and other countless resources, and I plan to share my findings with you whenever possible.
Panther (Mac OSX.3) is quite a cool cat! After many hours peering into its heart and soul, I've learned a few things worth sharing about the Mac's latest OS. Even if you primarily use a Window's machine, you might pick up some concepts that transfer over to your Operating System. This should especially be true with the search tips covered.
Rock the Dock!(fig. 1) New Sidebar
To start with, I prefer the dock at the bottom of my screen in show/hide mode (find the prefs under the Blue Apple Menu>Dock>Dock prefs). I also turn off both magnification and Animate opening apps and leave the icons pretty small (so small that I have about 40 icons across a 15'' Powerbook screen!) First, place aliases of important Applications in the top (or left) side of the dock and then place important folders like your e-mail account's attachment folder, or important System items, like Utilities, on the side of the dock nearest the trash can. To do that with apps or folders, navigate to the appropriate folder and just drag the folder into the dock. After an e-mail attachment is downloaded, a single click on the Attachments folder icon in the dock opens the attachment folder in a new window. A new feature in Panther is the Sidebar, which allows Dock-like control in an even more convenient place - to the left of your normal Finder window (fig.1).(fig. 2) Browsing by ctrl clicking in Dock
One unique thing the dock offers is folder navigation just by ctrl clicking on the folder placed in the dock, similar to OS9's Apple Menu Items. (fig. 2)
Speaking of the Finder, I recommend selecting 'Always open folders in a new window' under Finder>Preferences. It makes it easier to transfer files between folders. I also put Stuffit items (DropStuff, DropZip and Stuffit Expander) in the dock so that any compressed file can be easily opened or stuffed. Panther also has a feature that will create a .zip file when ctrl clicking (or right mouse button clicking) on any file, folder or group of files/folders and selecting 'create archive' If there is a single file, it will retain its name with a .zip extension and if multiple files are selected, they will be grouped into a file named 'archive'.
Find Anything!(fig. 3) Folder targeting speeds searches
There's more to finding things in OSX than just 'cmd F'. With a few shortcuts and tools, you should never lose another file. I recommend beginning with a change to the default find settings. By first selecting 'cmd F', you can then change the selection from 'Everywhere' to 'Specific Places' (Fig. 3).
This will allow for quick searches of specific drives, CD's, etc. I even go a step further and setup a search on my 'Text_PDFs' folder which has most of my archived letters, internet screen captures and PDF files. Do this by clicking on 'Add' and selecting the folder you wish to keep in the list. This speeds searching up considerably when I'm looking for something like a map that I had saved for the upcoming PMA show. Panther also has a nice search tool sitting in the top right of each window, and it works like an internet browser, guessing what you are searching for as you type. It also allows targeting of specific folders and volumes. (fig. 4)(fig. 4) Pantherís built-in quick search tool
Also, don't forget that different criteria can be put into most search engines, like date created, file size, etc. Here's another tip: try searching by just entering an extension, like .pdf or .jpg.
Third party software is another great resource, and one search tool thatís worth a download is called EasyFind (www.grunenberg.net). EasyFind can quickly search the content of files, which is great if you have many text documents and need to find something buried deep within (be sure to scroll down to 'select' at the bottom of the pull-down menu to choose a specific folder - it will be much faster). Also, don't forget the power of most e-mail programs. I use Eudora for OSX, and I'm able to target my In or Out Box and search for many different parameters (under Special>Find). Instead of searching through 10 e-mails to find the one that has your clientís FedEx number, just put FedEx in the 'search body text' or 'search all' and it should pop right up!
To receive more tips like these, subscribe to my Inkjet & Imaging Tips Newsletter at www.andrewdarlow.com. A schedule of my upcoming digital photography, OSX and workflow seminars can also be found there.